The Howard Payne Yellow Jackets are projected to finish in a fifth-place tie with McMurry in the ASC West men's basketball race, according to the preseason coaches and media poll released earlier this week.
Both HPU (12-12, 8-8) and McMurry (9-16, 4-12) garnered 27 points in the poll, with the War Hawks also receiving a first-place vote.
Concordia (19-8, 12-4), with 68 points and six first-place votes, is the preseason favorite in West followed by Sul Ross (13-13, 9-7) with 55 points and three first-place votes, Mary Hardin-Baylor (16-10, 9-7) with 54 points, and Hardin-Simmons (24-7, 13-3) with 42 points and a pair of first-place votes.
Howard Payne senior guards Khyce Randall and Rickey Guillory were named to the ASC Players to Watch List.
In the ASC East, LeTourneau (22-6, 12-4) is the division favorite with 97 points and nine first-place votes trailed by UT-Dallas (12-15, 8-8) with 93 points and four first-place votes, UT-Tyler (15-11, 8-8) with 83 points and two first-place votes, East Texas Baptist (15-11, 6-10) with 74 points, Louisiana Colelge (9-14, 5-11) with 58 points and one first-place vote, Belhaven (4-21) with 33 points and on first-place vote, and Ozarks (8-17, 2-14) with 31 points.
The eight-team ASC championship tournament, featuring the top four seeds from each division, will take place Feb. 22-24 at the home of the West champion.
Howard Payne opens the season Nov. 16 at Abilene Christian, begins ASC play Nov. 30 at UT-Dallas, and starts its home slate Dec. 2 against Southwestern.